Injuries stall selection
THE Townsville Blackhawks will leave it until the 11th hour to decide whether a handful of big names make the trip to Winton this weekend.
The Blackhawks named the same 17 that thumped the Northern Pride for Saturday’s Country Week clash against the Ipswich Jets, although serious doubts surround the availability of centre Jordan Drew ( leg) and Ross Bella ( concussion).
The pair were taken off the field during the 32- 10 win over the Pride at Jack Manski Oval, which was the Blackhawks’ second last home game of the Queensland Cup season.
There is an upside, however, with hardworking forward Daniel Beasley a chance of returning after failing a late fitness test on his hamstring injury last week.
“At this stage we’ve named a similar side, although Daniel Beasley is probably a chance,” Blackhawks operations manager Adrian Thomson said.
“We’re still giving Jordan until late in the week to prove his fitness, and the same goes for Ross.”
Blackhawks halfback Michael Parker- Walshe is also in doubt for Saturday’s clash after missing last weekend’s Foley Shield showdown through a shoulder injury he picked up against Norths a fortnight ago.
Parker- Walshe was replaced at No. 7 by Cowboys allocation Kyle Laybutt, who formed part of a new- look halves combination last weekend with Kierran Moseley.
“We want to make sure he ( Parker- Walshe) is 100 per cent and we won’t be playing blokes if they’re not fully fit,” Thomson said.
“We’re trying to get to the stage where we’re getting as many players back to play hopefully the next eight weeks for us.”
The Blackhawks slight favourites to Jets on Saturday.
They have won their past six games and the Jets lost to Easts Tigers 24- 20 last weekend, although the teams have enjoyed a keen rivalry which includes Ipswich’s 2015 grand final victory over the Blackhawks.
“Ipswich are going to be a really tough game out west and I wish we were playing a Burleigh, Easts or someone like that at Winton,” Blackhawks coach Kristian Woolf said.
Saturday’s kick- off in Winton is 6pm. will beat be the